Author Topic: A Mustachian Will  (Read 2318 times)

Davids

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 973
  • Location: Somewhere in the USA.
A Mustachian Will
« on: September 12, 2015, 10:30:50 AM »
What do you recommend for a will, a cheap online option or face-face with an attorney.

Background: My wife and I are both in our early-mid 30s, we have a 16 month old boy. The intent would be if I go then my wife gets everything, if my wife goes I get everything but if god forbid both of us go then our baby gets everything and we would have my wife's parents be his guardian. Our assets is basically our primary residence, our 401Ks, Roth IRAs, other Brokerage accounts, 529 Plan, HSA, and online savings accounts. We also each have a life insurance policy.

I want to keep it simple but at the same time can we include a provision that if we have another kid then everything is split 50-50 or would we have to revise the will once we have the second kid. I don't want to spend too much money but at the same time make sure it is iron clad.

What do you recommend?

Davids

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 973
  • Location: Somewhere in the USA.
Re: A Mustachian Will
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2015, 04:17:59 PM »
Anyone?

AZDude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1298
Re: A Mustachian Will
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2015, 04:36:02 PM »
Depends on how complicated you want your will to be. "The baby gets everything" sounds simply, but you do want to just hand over a few hundred thousand dollars to your 18 year old son? Or would you rather that there is a trust that pays out gradual payments until he is 25?

We talked to a lawyer and he wrote up the will. It was mostly boilerplate stuff and it was like $700. Seemed like a waste of money to me, but meh... I know employers have group legal coverage that could do a will for much less. An online form may or may not hold up in court.

If you are both gone, then if the rest of the family is amicable, it probably does not matter. But what if family infighting means that a court has to interpret the will and judge its authenticity and legality?

jda1984

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 179
Re: A Mustachian Will
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2015, 04:40:49 PM »
It will vary depending on your state, but it should not require a trip to an attorney's office.  Legal Zoom or similar (haven't used Legal Zoom myself) should be able to get you hooked up for your state. 

Regarding the kids thing, you should be able to write it so it is per stirpes or per capita ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Per_stirpes ).  Unless one of your kids or grandkids ticks you off, you shouldn't have to revisit it in the future.

Dee18

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1610
Re: A Mustachian Will
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2015, 05:10:13 PM »
One thing to check out is whether you get to choose the guardian for your child and have it be binding.  In many states this is not the case.  Instead, while the judge will certainly consider deceased parents' wishes, the judge can make a different choice.  I live in one of those states, but did not know it until I consulted an attorney about a will.  She advised me on how to establish a record of why my selected guardian would be best for my child. 

kkbmustang

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1286
Re: A Mustachian Will
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2015, 05:40:14 PM »
It will vary depending on your state, but it should not require a trip to an attorney's office.  Legal Zoom or similar (haven't used Legal Zoom myself) should be able to get you hooked up for your state. 

Regarding the kids thing, you should be able to write it so it is per stirpes or per capita ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Per_stirpes ).  Unless one of your kids or grandkids ticks you off, you shouldn't have to revisit it in the future.

OP, if it were me I wouldn't take legal advice from someone relying on wikipedia for a legal definition. I highly recommend that you find an estate planning attorney that is licensed to practice law in your state. He or she should be able to give you a quote for the documents you need and advise you regarding the laws of your state. Also, things change in the law and your local attorney should be able to identify it faster than LegalZoom can change their form documents. If you use their form document and make a change somewhere, it's very possible you could inadvertently change the meaning of another provision in that document, causing two separate provisions to conflict. In other words, a legal shit show. I'm all for DIYing tons of stuff, but please think through using some form you find on the internet. And yes, your will can contemplate the existence of future children so you don't have to redo it when subsequent children are born.

When you choose an attorney, you should be provided with an Engagement Letter, which will describe the terms of your agreement, including cost (per hour or flat fee) and what documents and/or advice are included in the costs quoted. You should get this engagement letter (at no cost to you), signed and in effect, before beginning your relationship with the attorney. This Engagement Letter is what will specify, in detail, what you are paying for and in what amounts/on what basis.

I'm a tax attorney and I had an estate planning attorney draft my will and other related documents. This is a specialized area of law and the attorney you work with should be able to structure your affairs in the most tax-efficient way possible to reach the outcome you prefer.

If you don't know any attorneys to ask for a referral in your area, contact your city or state's Bar Association and they should be able to refer you to someone.